MIAMI – Actor Pablo Lyle’s defense rested after he told the Miami-Dade County judge in his manslaughter case that he decided not to testify on Monday. After closing statements, the judge said jurors will start to deliberate after she provides them with instructions on Tuesday morning.
Attorney Philip Reizenstein, who is defending Lyle, stood in front of a picture showing three children and Lyle’s wife Ana Araujo during closing statements to reiterate that when Lyle punched the victim in the case about three years ago, he was responding to a threat.
“This case is about fear,” Reizenstein said.
Assistant State Attorney Gabriela Alfaro argued the case was not about fear, but about anger and said Lyle punched Juan Hernandez, 63, unnecessarily on March 31, 2019, near the intersection of Northwest 27th Avenue and Northwest 14th Street.
“That punch Mr. Lyle did actually caused the victim to fall back to hit his head and to crack open his skull, and ultimately those injuries caused his death,” Alfaro said.
Surveillance video shows Hernandez jumping out of his car and approaching the car Lyle was in.
Araujo, a Mexican actress who wed Lyle in 2014, testified on Friday that she and Lyle were with their children, Arantza and Mauro, when an “aggressive” Hernandez shouted “nasty things” and banged on the driver’s side window.
“I was already panicking because the children were very scared,” Araujo said.
Surveillance video shows Hernandez walking away toward his car when Lyle ran toward him and punched him. Araujo said she did not see the punch. Hernandez died four days later.
In 2019, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Alan Fine refused to dismiss the case under the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law. If the jury finds Lyle guilty of manslaughter, he could face up to 15 years in prison.
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